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United States

Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy 818

Posted by Soulskill
from the cats-and-dogs-governing-together dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from Princeton University and Northwestern University have concluded, after extensive analysis of 1,779 policy issues, that the U.S. is in fact an oligarchy and not a democracy. What this means is that, although 'Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance,' 'majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.' Their study (PDF), to be published in Perspectives on Politics, found that 'When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.'"
OS X

Apple Patches Massive Holes In OS X 246

Posted by timothy
from the well-it-wouldn't-be-polite-to-patch-windows dept.
Trailrunner7 writes with this snippet from ThreatPost: "Apple's first Mac OS X security update for 2010 is out, providing cover for at least 12 serious vulnerabilities. The update, rated critical, plugs security holes that could lead to code execution vulnerabilities if a Mac user is tricked into opening audio files or surfing to a rigged Web site." Hit the link for a list of the highlights among these fixes.
Television

Sony, IMAX, Discovery To Launch 3D TV Network 218

Posted by kdawson
from the you're-our-only-hope dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "In a surprising endorsement for 3D display technology, Sony Corp. of America, Discovery Communications and IMAX Corp. have announced plans to form a US television network entirely devoted to 3D programming. The three parties have signed a letter of intent to form the unnamed venture, which is scheduled to launch in 2012. The new network is intended as a sort of carrot to lure buyers to purchase 3D-enabled TVs." Reader jggimi notes NY Times coverage, which points out that this prospective network won't be the first: "Earlier Tuesday, ESPN announced that it would start 'ESPN 3D' in June 2010. The channel will show a minimum of 85 live 3D events during the first year."
Games

Avataritis — On the Abundance of Customizable Game Characters 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the forty-nine-precisely-placed-freckles dept.
Martyn Zachary writes "The Slowdown has posted a new critique, 'Avataritis,' that attempts to portray the utilization of character customization as a pandemic, emotional response on behalf of publishers and developers to finding the easiest, most efficient solution to the very unique dilemma presented by the enlarging, widening player base of video games. 'No mechanisms are in place stopping developers from writing and designing heterogeneous yet fully structured, narrative-based computer games with carefully constructed and immutable, unchangeable characters.' The article discusses the emergence and role of gender criticism and research in relation to the recent proliferation of the customizable avatar. The story also dissects the very act of character creation, subsequently aiming to clarify several semantic distortions related to the terminology utilized in character creation, and in turn breaking apart the concepts of relatability and understandability, wholly differentiating the two. The overarching analysis is finally related to examples from the gaming marketplace, where many continue to corroborate apparent falsehoods and misunderstandings in relation to the utilization of the avatar. Ultimately, the writer hopes to dissuade readers, developers and players from believing that written narratives are going away as customization and emergent content are entering video games with full force."

Comment: Re:Anyone actually BUY anything because of web ads (Score 1) 229

by Neumann (#26330363) Attached to: How Web Advertising May Go

My $.02:

I have been occasionally tempted to click on an ad - especially when it was showing me the product I wanted to buy. However when I click those ads, I have to do a lot of work to purchase the product and I dont want to work that hard. It seems that ads are only there to get me to go to the site and spend 10-15minutes figuring out their e-commerce stuff. What a really effective ad would do is market a sale and link directly to the list of products that are being sold. I dont click an ad to go visit a site and explore it. I click an ad because it has shown me what I want to buy. If I have to spend a bunch of time to search out the product on the website that the ad referred to, then I leave and dont bother clicking any more ads.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington

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